All-Cash Home Buying Is on the Rise in Affluent Communities

A deep dive into housing data

Real Estate sign
In some ZIP codes, all-cash sales for homes are up dramatically.
Lance McMillan/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Depending on where you’re looking to buy, the process of becoming a homeowner can be particularly challenging. It’s not just about finding the right home for sale — where location, cost and condition all play significant roles in the decision-making process. There’s also the condition of the real estate market in that location to consider — and if a space is particularly in demand, there may be potential buyers offering to pay in cash up front.

Like many aspects of real estate, the last few years have seen some big changes in the number of potential homebuyers opting to pay for an entire home in cash. The pandemic transformed many aspects of real estate; this one’s certainly among them.

The Washington Post recently analyzed data from Redfin and explored where all-cash home purchases had increased proportionally between 2017 and 2022. The largest percentage changes from one year to the next came fromFr three locations: Frederick, Maryland; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Nassau County, New York. In Nassau County last year, 53% of home purchases were made entirely with cash.

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It’s not the only location where over half of the home purchases were all-cash. Naples, Florida has an even larger percentage than Nassau County: 56%. Lexington, Kentucky is in similar territory, with 52% of its home purchases last year being entirely in cash.

That’s led to a situation where inequality in the housing market has increased, according to one of the experts cited in the article. “What we found was those that already were more well-off were able to take advantage of the strong housing market and add to their wealth, while those trying to better their situation were often pushed to the side,” economist Ali Wolf told the Post.

The whole report, complete with interactive maps, is well worth checking out. You might well learn more about the place where you live than you’d ever expected.

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